WASHINGTON - A House committee looking into a flawed gun-smuggling operation in Arizona announced Monday that it will consider holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress next week for failing to produce some documents the panel is seeking.
The committee has scheduled a contempt vote June 20. To date, the Justice Department has presented 7,600 pages of documents to the committee.
Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Congress wants to examine records regarding the Justice Department’s conduct after public disclosures in early 2011 that hundreds of guns illicitly purchased at gun shops on the US side of the border wound up in Mexico, many of them at crime scenes.
The Justice Department said many of the documents being sought deal with open criminal investigations and prosecutions and cannot be disclosed.
“The Justice Department is out of excuses,’’ House Speaker John Boehner said Monday. “Congress has given Attorney General Holder more than enough time to fully cooperate with its investigation’’ into the flawed law enforcement effort called Operation Fast and Furious.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the attorney general has appeared eight times on Capitol Hill, where he has undergone questioning about the problems in the operation.